Don’t Let the Heat Get to You

Summertime is perfect for fun outdoor activities like spending the day at the lake, joining friends for a BBQ or even puttering around in the yard. But it’s important to be smart and stay vigilant so summer fun doesn’t take a dangerous turn to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. 

Recognizing Signs of Heat Exhaustion:

Be on the lookout for signs of heat exhaustion in yourself and others to prevent it from turning into something much more serious. 

• Pale, ashen or moist skin
• Muscle cramps (especially for those working or exercising outdoors in high temperatures)
• Fatigue, weakness or exhaustion
• Headache, dizziness or fainting
• Nausea or vomiting
• Rapid heart rate

If you notice these symptoms, treat the impacted person quickly by doing the following: 

• Move person to a shaded or air-conditioned area
• Give water or other cool, nonalcoholic beverages
• Apply wet towels, or have victims take a cool shower

Recognizing Signs of Heat Stroke:

Uncontrolled heat exhaustion can evolve into heat stroke. Seek medical help immediately if someone is suffering from heat stroke. Symptoms include:

• Body temperature above 103 degrees
• Skin that is flushed, dry and hot to the touch; sweating has usually stopped
• Rapid breathing
• Headache, dizziness, confusion or other signs of altered mental status
• Irrational or belligerent behavior
• Convulsions or unresponsiveness

If you come across someone who is suffering from heat stroke, immediately do the following:

• Call 911
• Move the impacted person to a cool place
• Remove unnecessary clothing
• Immediately cool them, preferably by immersing up to the neck in cold water (with the help of a second rescuer)
• If immersion in cold water is not possible, place them in a cold shower or move to a cool area and cover as much of the body as possible with cold, wet towels
• Keep cooling until body temperature drops to 101 degrees
• Monitor their breathing and be ready to give CPR if needed


• Force them to drink liquids
• Apply rubbing alcohol to the skin
• Allow them to take pain relievers or salt tablets

Protect yourself and your loved ones this summer by taking precautions while outdoors and by looking out for each other. If you have any questions about heat-related illnesses, or would like to speak with a medical professional, give us a call at (903) 389-2121.